Skip to main content

  President Trump and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Hold Joint News...  CSPAN  April 12, 2017 4:03pm-4:33pm EDT

4:03 pm
sean: no. greta: i will leave it at that. assuming he were to meet with pigeon, hypothetically, if you were to meet with pigeon -- putin, hypothetically, if he were to meet with putin, what is the mission? sean: he will meet with mr. lavrov and communicate the same message. there is a shared interest in defeating isis in the region, that we have a national security concern that should align with their national security concern. and we have all been party to an international agreement on the use of chemical weapons. and that russia should live up to its obligations. russia right now is an island. it is russia on north korea, syria, and iran. that is not something you want to be associated with.
4:04 pm
russia is among that group the only not failed state. nato.retary of the atlantic treaty organization. donald trump: secretary-general toltenberg, it is a pleasure welcome you to the white house, especially at such an important moment in our great alliance. i also want to acknowledge the great work being done by our secretary of state, rex tillerson, is a strength in this nato alliance as well as his trip to moscow to promote the security interest of the united states and its allies. he did a terrific job. i watched parts of it. he did a terrific job. 68 years ago, not far from where
4:05 pm
we are gathered today, president harry truman spoke at the signing of the north atlantic treaty. in the nearly seven decades since harry truman spoke those words, the nato alliance has been the bulwark of international peace and security . nato allies defeated communism and liberated the captive natures -- nations of the cold war. they secure the longest period of unbroken peace that europe has ever known. this enduring partnership is rooted out of so many different things, but our common security is always number one. and our common devotion to human .ignity and freedom since 1949, the nato member states have more than doubled, .ncreasing from 12 to 28
4:06 pm
on monday, i signed a protocol 29th, the country of montenegro. in the coming months and years, i will work closely with all of our nato allies to enhance this partnership and to adapt to the challenges of the future of .hich there will be many this includes upgrading nato to focus on today's most pressing security and all of its challenges, including aggression andterrorism -- migration terrorism. we must also work together to resolve the disaster currently taking place in syria. we are grateful for the support of nato members and partners in their condemnation of assad's murderous tactics, using the most horrible weapons. the vicious slaughter of innocent civilians with chemical
4:07 pm
weapons, including the barbaric killing of small and helpless children and babies, must be forcefully rejected by any nation that values human life. it is time to end this brutal civil war, defeat terrorists, and allow refugees to return home. in facing our common challenges, we must also ensure that nato members meet their financial obligations and pay what they owe. many have not been doing this. the secretary-general and i agree that other member nations must have us find the responsibility to contribute to percent of gdp to defense. if other countries pay their fair share instead of relying on the united states to make up the difference, we will all be much more secure, and our partnership will be made that much stronger.
4:08 pm
the secretary-general and i had a productive discussion about what more nato can do in the fight against terrorism. i complained about that a long time ago, and they made a change, and now they do fight terrorism. i said it was obsolete. it is no longer obsolete. it is my hope that nato will take on an increased role in supporting our iraqi partners in their battle against isis. i am also sending general mcmaster to afghanistan to find out how we can make progress alongside our afghan partners and nato allies. every generation has strived to adopt a nato alliance to meet the challenges of their times, and on my visit to brussels this spring -- i would very much forward to -- we will work together to do the same. we must not be trapped by the
4:09 pm
tired thinking, as so many have, but apply new solutions to face new circumstances, and that is all throughout the world. are not here to stand on ceremony but to develop real strategies to achieve safety, security, and peace. we are here to protect the freedom and prosperity of our citizens and to give them the future they so richly deserve. secretary-general, i am honored to have you here today and to reaffirm our commitment to this alliance and to the enduring values that we proudly, and i mean very proudly, share. thank you very much. thank you for being our. jens stoltenberg: thank you, so much, mr. president. we had an excellent and very productive meeting, and it is really an honor to meet you for the first time in the white house.
4:10 pm
we agreed that nato is the bedrock of security both for europe and for the united states. warworld wars and a cold have taught us all that peace in europe is not only important for europeans but is also important for the prosperity and security of north america. so a strong nato is good for europe, but a strong nato is also good for the united states. and therefore, i will come the very strong commitment of the united states to the security of europe. we see this commitment not only .n words but also in deeds over the past months, thousands of u.s. troops have been deploying to europe, a clear demonstration that america stands with allies to protect peace and the sense of our
4:11 pm
freedom. and yesterday, you announced the montenegro's could remember -- membership in nato. we thank you for that. dangerous and more unpredictable world, it is important to have friends and allies, and in nato, america has the best friends and the best allies in the world. we represent half of the world's economic and military power. hadther superpower has ever such a strategic advantage. this makes the united states stronger and safer. we saw that after the 9/11 attacks on the united states. that was the first time nato
4:12 pm
invoked our article five, the selective defense clause. thees sent planes to help american skies, and towards nato's biggest military operation ever in afghanistan. hundreds of thousands of europeans and canadian soldiers have served shoulder to shoulder thanamerican troops, more 1000 have paid the ultimate price. today, i laid a wreath at arlington national cemetery in tribute to the fallen. it was a deeply moving experience. we owe it to our service men and women to preserve the hard-earned gains we have made together. we are reminded of the sacrifice
4:13 pm
just this week when the u.s. soldier was killed there fighting isil. afghanistan is a major contribution to the fight against asked her -- national terrorism. nato plays a key role in many other ways also. all they do allies are part of the global position to counter i and nato provides support with training for the forces in the fight against terrorists and more intelligence sharing. and you are right, we have established a new division for intelligence which enhances our ability to fight terrorism and working together in the alliance to fight terrorism in the and even more -- in an even more effective way. but we agreed today you and i that nato can and must do more in the mobile site against --
4:14 pm
global fight against terrorism. training local forces is one of the best weapons we have. , thehas the experience expertise, and the staying power to make a real difference, and fighting terrorism will be an important topic when nato in in brussels the other major topic would be fair burden sharing in our alliance. we had a total discussion on this issue today. and mr. president, i thank you for your attention to this issue. we are all seeing the effect of your strong focus on the importance of burden sharing in the alliance. we agree that allies need to redouble their efforts to meet the pledge we all made in 2014 to invest more in our alliance.
4:15 pm
onis about spending more defense. it is about delivering capabilities we need, and is about contributing forces to nato missions and operations. this means cash of abilities and contributions. -- capabilities and contributions. fair burden sharing has been my priority since taking office. we have now are they quarter. -- earned a quarter. in 2016, for the first time in many years, we saw an increase in defense spending across , $10ean allies and canada billion more for our defense. we are now working to keep up the momentum, including by developing national plans, planning how to make good on what we agreed in 2014.
4:16 pm
we know that we all need to consider our fair share, because we need to keep our nations safe anymore dangerous world. a more dangerous world. we discussed more topics at our meeting today including the recent use of chemical weapons in syria. any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable, cannot go unanswered, and those responsible must be held accountable. so mr. president, thank you once again. i look forward to working with you to keeping the alliance strong, and i look forward to may,me you to brussels in when the alliance needs to address challenges and the need to continue to conduct the alliance to a more challenging security environment and the fair burden sharing and stepping nationalght against
4:17 pm
terrorism. donald trump: thank you. we will have a couple of questions. jeff mason. >> thank you. thank you, mr. president. i would like to ask you about two topics if i may. first, has year review of vladimir putin changed since syria, and what are you prepared to do if he continues to support assad? and on a separate question, have you made a deal after your cat last night with the president of china about china helping to rainy and north korea, -- rein in north korea? and you would not label them a currency manipulator? secretary-general, you think nato should continue to bolster its presence along the alliance's eastern border, and to you feel confident you have support for that? donald trump: i will be speaking
4:18 pm
with rex tillerson in a little while, calling in. i think he had a successful discussion in russia. we will see, we will see the end result, which will not be long, but the end result is important, not just talk. based on everything i am hearing, things went bell, -- went well, maybe better than anticipated. it would be wonderful as we were discussing just a little while ago if nato and our country could get along with russia. right now we are not getting along with russia at all. we may be at an all-time low in terms of relationship with russia. this has built for a long period of time, but we are going to see what happens. putin is the leader of russia. russia is a strong country. we are a very, very strong country. we will see how that all works out. last night separately i spoke with a man that i have gotten to
4:19 pm
know. i don't know putin, but i have this spent time with this gentleman over the last two days, and he is the president of china you were there, most of you were there, and it was quite an interesting period of time. president xi wants to do the right thing. we had a very good bonding. i think we had a very good chemistry together. i think he wants to help us with north korea. we talked trade. we talked a lot of things. the way i said you were going to make a good trade deal is to help us with north korea, otherwise we will go it alone, and that will be all right too. going with lots of other nations. i was impressed with president xi, and i think he means well, and i think he wants to help your we will see whether or not he does. >> do you feel if you have a deal with him, do you feel like you have a deal with him in
4:20 pm
terms of currency manipulation designation, and have your views changed on putin? donald trump: we are going to see about that, and i will see ofut putin over a period time. it would be nice to get along, it may not happen, it could be the opposite. i will tell you what i would like to do. i would love to be able to get along with everybody. right now the world is a mess, but by the time we finished, i think it will be a lot better place to live. speaking for myself, by the time i am finished, it is going to be a lot better place to live in. right now it is nasty. nato is in theg: process of implementing the biggest reinforcement to our collective defense since the end of the world war, and one element is to increase military presence in the east as part of .he alliance
4:21 pm
we are now deploying for battle groups to the countries of portland, and the will be more u.s. forces in that part of europe. this is the first time in many years we have an increase in the military presence of the united states in europe. we are increasing our presence, and we are also increasing the readiness and the preparedness of forces, so we can quickly reinforce if we need to. we consider the presence we will have when the four battle groups are in place and sufficient, given the current security situation in europe, but of course we will assess the situation, follow developments of any thing closely. the message from nato is that what we do is proportionate. it is defensive, and we do not want a new cold war. we do not want a new arms race, and we strongly believe there is no contradiction between a strong nato, credible deterrence and defense and political dialogue with russia.
4:22 pm
thes a precondition for clinical dialogue with russia that we are strong and united, but based on that, we can talk to russia because russia is our neighbor, russia is a states, so we must find ways to manage that . i have certain the united states supports this approach, partly because the united states is contributing with forces to enhance our presence in the eastern alliance and also the southeast and romania, -- in romania, and the president fight withy will not russia, but based on unity and strength in the alliance. the next question? thank you very much. secretary-general, how long do you think it will take you to persuade the other european countries to burden share, and what are you going to do to persuade them? mr. president, can i ask you --
4:23 pm
i am here to help. and mr. president, do you think it is conceivable with your instinct, is it possible syrian forces could have launched the attack in italy -- in idlib last week without the russians knowing, and have you been disappointed, surprised by vladimir putin's reaction since then? thank you very much. donald trump: i think it is certainly possible. i think it is probably unlikely, and i know they are doing investigations into that right now. i would like to think that they did not know, but certainly they could have. they were there. so we will find out. general mattis and looking into it with the entire pentagon group that does that kind of work. so it was very disappointing to see. it is disappointing no matter who does it, but when you get into the gas of that form, it is vicious and violent, and
4:24 pm
everybody in this room side all too many times -- saw it all too many times in the past few days, babies, children, fathers holding children in their arms that were dead, dead children. site, andt be a worse it should not be allowed to butcher. i felt we had to do something about it. i have no doubt we did the right thing. and it was very successfully done as you well know. thank you. jens stoltenberg: on defense spending and burden sharing, that has been my top priority. i have raised it in all of my meetings in all capitals i have visited, with prime minister's, financets ministers -- ministers. i expect all allies to make good back in when they decided in 2014. i sent a message from president
4:25 pm
trump which has been helpful. we are seeing them start to move in the right direction, for the first time of the many years of the decline in defense spending, we now see an increase in europe and canada. they have started moving in the right direction. is theal increase significant step in the right direction. it is not enough. we still have a long way to go, but at least we have turned the corner, european allies have turned a corner. they will increase defense spending. that is important to remember this is something the europeans do because they know this is in their own security interest. this is an their interest to invest -- in their interest to invest more because the world has become dangerous. have reducedallies defense spending since the end of the cold war because tensions when down, but if you are
4:26 pm
decreasing defense spending when tensions are going down, you have to increase when tensions are going up, and now they are going up. so we have still a long way to go, but i am encouraged in fact we are starting to move in the right direction. last year there were five allies spending 2%. ,his year romania will reach 2% ukraine also reached 2%, so we go from five to eight, which is going the right direction. we still have some work to do. did askrump: and i about all of the money that has not been paid over the years. will that money becoming about? you want to talk about that too. anita kumar, where are you? hi. reaction to the [indiscernible]
4:27 pm
can you talk about your reaction of the behavior? [indiscernible] how does that affect your relationship? donald trump: we did talk last night. i thought it was wonderful they abstained. i was not surprised china did abstain. very few people father was going to happen, so we are -- thought that was going to happen, so we are honored by the vote. that should have taken place. you cut -- counter , democraticneral elections? jens stoltenberg: the most important thing is to have a strong alliance, to stay united, and to be predictable. that means we have to invest in the collective defense. that is what we are doing, deploy more troops, increase
4:28 pm
readiness, and increase defense spending. i welcome the strong message from president trump on the importance of the increase of defense spending. we have started to do this, so we are implementing the biggest enforcements on collective defense since the end of the cold war, providing credible defense. at the same time, we have to find ways to engage the direction, talk with russia. russia will not go away. russia will be our biggest neighbor, and we have to find ways to live with them and try to avoid a new cold war and you arms race. -- new arms race. politician, i had the experience to work with russia because norway borders russia. develop i would hope a pragmatic working relationship with russia. the energy, border issues, environment, fisheries, and lee
4:29 pm
terry affairs, and that was not -- military affairs, and that -- natobecause of nato provided the strength for a small country, to have a political dialogue with russia. i believe the only way to deter russia is to be strong, but to avoid a new cold war, a new arms race and tensions is to continue to engage russia in political dialogue and make sure what we do is proportionate in response. >> thank you. mr. president, i am from norway. russia is our neighboring country. what do you think we have to do you think
4:30 pm
european countries have to fear from russia if tension continues. donald trump: i can't hear it. >> what do you think european countries have to fear from russia if the tension continues to pres. trump: i want to start by saying hopefully they will fear nothing. right now there is a fear, there are problems, certainly problems, but ultimately there won't be a fear, problems, and the world can get along. it is crazy what is going on, whether the middle east, ukraine, whatever you look at, it's got problems, so many problems, and ultimately i
4:31 pm
believe that we are going to get rid of most of those problems and there won't be fear of anybody. that is the way it should be. we have a very big problem and north korea, and as i said, china is going to try very hard and has already started, you saw that yesterday and today. they have been turned back, the vast amount of coal, they have turned back the boats. that is one step, and there are many other steps. if it is not effective, we will be effective, i can promise you that. thank you. nato hastenberg: constantly condemned the use of chemical weapons in syria and the use of chemical weapons is and a clear violation of international law. any use of chemical weapons is
4:32 pm
oncceptable and cannot go answered comments of those responsible must be held accountable. the strike against the airbase in syria was a u.s. operation based on u.s. intelligence, but you have seen within the alliance this has been something which has been met with a lot of understanding because nato chemical not accept weapons are used, and therefore we strongly support the efforts of the fact-finding commission to find out what happened and to make sure we don't see any use of chemical weapons in the future. pres. trump: ok. thank you very much. thank you.